Its been a funny old year weather wise, in fact I think its been a windy couple of years, but last night was much more what I think of as a typical Wednesday evening race, with a gentle and warmish F1-2 breeze, somewhat shifty, and diminishing towards sunset. The course consisted of beat, shy reach, medium length run, a semi fetch back upwind again and another medium length run back to the start. A Laser sailor set the course [grin]. Sadly there was only one Laser out there to take advantage of it.
The start line was most fun for the fast boats I think: most folks arrived early and went down the line for the far end, which was a bit of a disappointment for a couple of boats who were aiming for a port end start: things got a bit vocal! On the whole the right probably paid more than the left up the first beat, but I'm not sure there was a lot in it. There was better wind on the right initially and the left at the end of the leg. Often the case during the race actually - the best side rarely stayed the best side, particularly, I thought, on the runs.
Early "showers" (the o as in show, not as in cow) were Gareth and Graham from the slow boat start, and Carl and Richard Barker (Carl in Mike Curtis' 400 and his first time in a 400 for some years) from the fast fleet. The faster singlehanders were suffering a bit from lack of breeze.
So when the results came out it wasn't altgether a surise to see Gareth Grifiths wining from Richard Barker, with Carl Mayhew 3rd and Graham Potter 4th. Caroline Baldwin picked up a respectable 5th in her Byte, and Jon Magrath rounded out the top 6 in the only Laser. Caroline and John took 1 & 2 in the Personal handicap, with Roy Poole 3rd in his Merlin. I really must get round to figuring out a suitable age related handicap for his Merlin in the scratch, but it also means recalculating the personal handicap, so its a bigger task than you might think (because the personal handicap is based on corrected times, if, say, Roy's handicap for the Merlin was increased by 5% he would need to be dropped one band in the personal handicap to match). Graham took 4th in the personal, Dave Nunn's 600 5th and Gareth 6th.
So, we must be, I suppose, about half way through the series, the solstice being past. In the standard handicap series the question is already who's going to catch Mr Griffiths. There's a whole bunch who are all well capable of beating him on a good day, but also well capable of beating each other...
The Personal handicap is wider open, but Mike Curtis must have had a bad season last year and just slipped into band 1, which is seeing him very well placed. Next is John Magrath, leading a tight bunch.